You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Sci Fi nixes ‘Farscape’ skein

Channel cites declining viewership, heavy costs

The Sci Fi Channel has cancelled Jim Henson TV’s “Farscape,” which had begun slipping in the ratings in its fourth season after racking up consistently solid ratings from March 1999 through the end of 2001.

Sci Fi cited declining viewership and “the extreme and growing cost of production” for its decision to kill “Farscape.”

But Juliet Blake, president of Jim Henson TV, U.S., said “Farscape,” shot in Australia, cost only about $1.5 million an episode, which is at least $500,000 an hour less than the production cost of the UPN primetime sci-fi series “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Enterprise.”

And the cost to Sci Fi, which pays about half of the production cost in license fees, went up, Blake continued, mainly because it ordered more runs of each “Farscape” episode.

Sci Fi still has a number of unaired hours of the series, which it will play off at 10 p.m. Friday from January to March 2003. The show had originally run earlier in the evening, and Blake said the 10-p.m. slot cost “Farscape” some of its younger viewers.

A summer Nielsen report conceived by Turner Research showed that “Farscape” had fallen to only a 1.2 rating in cable homes, or 958,000 households, from May 27 to Aug. 18. By contrast, “Stargate: SG-1,” the Friday-at-8 original series on Sci Fi, averaged a 1.7 rating for the same period, or 1.32-million homes.

The Henson Co. is working on the script of a “Farscape” theatrical movie, and one of the series creators, Rockne O’Bannon, is writing an anime version.

Henson produced 88 episodes of “Farscape” for Sci Fi before getting the pinkslip.

More TV

  • Cocain Grandmother Catherine Zeta Jones

    A+E Networks Sets Program Sales in Latin America and U.S.

    A+E Networks has clinched a raft of new programming sales to top TV outlets in Latin America and NBC’s Universo Spanish-language cabler in the U.S. On the eve of the annual NATPE programming market in Miami this week, A+E said it has set new licensing agreements for scripted and factual content with Direct TV (Latin [...]

  • Outlander 412

    'Outlander' Recap: Brianna Confronts Her Rapist in 'Providence'

    SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched “Providence,” the 12th episode of “Outlander” Season 4. There were two competing narratives on “Outlander” this week — one that was largely invented for the show but was a very clever way to keep a certain character involved, and another that was also changed [...]

  • Gillian AndersonX-Files press conference, Century City,

    Gillian Anderson to Play Margaret Thatcher in Season 4 of 'The Crown' (Report)

    “The Crown” has found its Iron Lady. Gillian Anderson is said to have signed on to play British prime minister Margaret Thatcher in the fourth season of the much-praised Netflix drama series. Anderson’s casting was first reported by the Sunday Times. A Netflix rep declined to comment on the report. Anderson is the latest notable [...]

  • FICG Names Estrella Araiza As New

    Estrella Araiza To Head Up Guadalajara Intl Film Festival

    The Guadalajara Intl. Film Festival (FICG) has announced that Estrella Araiza, until now the festival’s head of industry and markets and director of the Guadalajara IntL. Film Festival in Los Angeles, has been promoted to the position of general director of the prominent Mexican festival. She replaces Ivan Trujillo, appointed director of TV UNAM. Araiza [...]

  • AGS2 Key Art, Image IDs: AGS2_081218_2727,

    Starz Releases 'American Gods' Season 2 Trailer (Watch)

    Starz has released a second season trailer for “American Gods,” which returns to the cabler Mar. 10, depicting the brewing war between Gods old and new in the series based on Neil Gaiman’s novel of the same name. “When people first came to America they brought us with them,” the trailer begins, flashing images of [...]

  • R. Kelly

    R. Kelly Accusers Detail Abuse, Reveal Evidence on 'Dateline'

    The continuing controversy surrounding R. Kelly, including allegations of sexual abuse by a number of women over three decades, was the focus of Friday’s episode of “Dateline.” Speaking to accusers Sparkle, Jerhonda Pace and parents Tim and Jonjelyn Savage, among others, NBC’s Andrea Canning heard more harrowing tales of abduction and sexual misconduct on the part [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content